If you wish to open a restaurant on the outskirts of Melbourne, or you have a large property more centrally, you can create something country-like that will draw the crowds. So, whether you use décor or expansive gardens, your special ambience is sure to draw crowds.
One idea that’s sure to impress is plantation shutters Melbourne residents find so attractive. Or create nooks and crannies in your garden. Also consider keeping your customers raving with fresh ingredients and craft drinks. And no matter the approach, make sure your entertainment is unique. That, after all, is what distinguishes a countrified restaurant from the run-of -the-mill city restaurant.
We’ll discuss a few ways to create a unique experience for your customers—ones that will make them return, and bring their friends.
Develop an Award-winning Garden
Your greatest drawcard is a garden. Having a large garden space empowers you to incorporate creative ideas:
- Divide it into different areas for different functions.
- You can create small nooks not too far from the restaurant, with hedges keeping some tables private.
- Put tall plants between tables for semi-privacy.
- Add a few rustic farmyard implements, such as an old wagon, or wagon wheels, plough, or shears. Whatever you add, such decor will create a charming ambience.
- You could have areas for taking photos for weddings, with streams, flowers, bridges and large willow trees for amazing selfie backgrounds.
- Make an area specifically for children’s play—we’ll discuss this further below.
Keep the Décor Countrified
Keep décor aligned with the countrified style. Those plantation shutters mentioned earlier give a fresh, rural enchantment. And with regards to blinds or awnings, it doesn’t stop you from having motorised ones. In fact, motorised blinds will help your staff operate them well, without breaking them. Add them to your outdoor space as well to increase your seating area in case of rain or winter weather.
Also, add wooden benches everywhere, or benches that match those beautiful white or blue shutters. Seating areas made of smoothed out tree trunks, pathways with stone or wood chips, and shady arbours overlooking the water are sure to please.
Inside, keep your wall paint mottled ochre, and add art and sculptures that reflect nature. In Melbourne, you can easily depict boats of various forms for a very appropriate theme such as marine life or sea views.
To support this theme on the bathroom, you could put in a stone basin. And panel the walls with wood.
Handy tip: you’ll find a lot of inspiration in country markets.
Have a Variety of Entertainment
You’re going to need a lot of entertainment to compete with easily accessible and established city restaurants. So, make sure that what you offer can’t be had in the city, or at least it should be of a similar standard as in town.
For children, you can have a couple of horses to offer short rides. They love this, and even when the horses are resting, they can pet them and feed them. They’ll beg their parents to return in future.
Let the kids have an area to play, with natural wooden swings, tyres hanging from trees, large pipes to walk through, and beautiful curving slides. Add a sandpit, and lots of grass where they can play ballgames, so parents know their kids will be happy while they relax and enjoy the food.
Opt for small trains to cart the children around the gardens. While they may not be exciting for adults, children love it, and never seem to tire of them.
Add a shallow water-play area. You really don’t want the added burden of having a lifeguard, but an extremely shallow area will add excitement and easy entertainment for any child. You could always stipulate that parents accompany children to this area, just to play it safe.
Outdoor picnics are very popular. Have blankets, pillows, and various picnic menus for people to choose from. Make sure your area is shaded, and allow indoor options for in case it rains.
Invite local musicians—make sure the artists are good, and that they invite friends and family. This is ideal for night-time entertainment.
Pub Quiz with Prizes
Another popular evening entertainment option is holding a pub quiz on a night that doesn’t often draw too many guests. Add a special menu, and create a space for locals to get to know each other, and hang out. Have comfy couches and lots of alcohol on tap. Suitable background music shouldn’t drown out the questioner but will help create the right atmosphere.
You can always add dancing to the menu. Country-style, or ballroom dancing lessons are ever popular, and sure to draw an upmarket clientele.
Naturally, you’ll have an award-winning menu featuring fresh country ingredients to add to this.
All in all, your restaurant will be a success if you’re able to distinguish yourself from the city competition. You’ll soon draw people to your restaurant without a problem with good advertising and lots of word of mouth referrals.
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